By HSE East Africa | Sunday Oct 8, 2017
The chairperson of Mozambique’s National Petroleum Institute (INP), Carlos Zacarias, on Thursday urged companies involved in hydrocarbon exploration to respect the country’s environmental legislation.
Speaking at the ceremony in Maputo that marked the launch of the study to collect 3D seismic data in the Zambezi Delta by the French Compagnie Generale de Geophysique (CGG), Zacarias pointed out that other activities, such as fishing, also take place in the areas covered by the study.
“We wish to stress the need for CGG to respect our laws, and the regulations in force in the country, and particularly the requirements for environmental safety”, he said.
Zacarias stressed the importance of assessing the size of the country’s petroleum resources. It was a government priority to gauge the volume of the resources and their location “which will allow the definition of policies and strategies for their eventual commercial exploitation”.
“It is most important that the state should have the necessary basic data, including 2D and 3D seismic data, and other information that makes this assessment possible”, he said. “We in the INP are very pleased to note that in recent years the petroleum data base has grown significantly”.
A decade ago no 3D seismic data was available, he said, but the country would now have more than 40,000 square kilometres worth of such data.
The work to be undertaken by CGG, as from mid-October, results from a tender for the production of geological and geophysical data in the country’s sedimentary basins, launched in 2016.
“CGG made the best bid”, said Zacarias, adding that the contract is only for the acquisition of seismic data, and “not to make a direct assessment of the potential of any specific area”.
It would be up to the INP, he explained, to assess the petroleum resources in the sedimentary basins, and gauge the economic value of any concession made to foreign investors.
Speaking at the same event, the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Leticia Klemens, said that the acquisition of seismic data reflects the government’s commitment to promote geological knowledge of the country, in order to allow better management and use of mineral resources and to attract investment to the sector.
“We believe that the inclusion of the national business class in the value chain of the exploration of mineral resources is fundamental or the development of our economy”, she added.
She mentioned that Mozambique has known reserves estimated at 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Rovuma Basin, off the coast of the northern province of Cabo Delgado. These discoveries are attracting foreign investment to explore in other parts of the country. The hydrocarbon potential of the Zambezi Delta is so far largely unknown.
“In order to define the general lines of development of the extractive industries, a mineral resources policy and strategy have been established, which include the objectives of improving knowledge of the petroleum potential of Mozambique’s sedimentary basins and promoting the participation of the national private sector”, said Klemens.